Flecha de Temaxtli: Tucson to Phoenix: 165 Miles
by Roberto Dr. Cintli Rodriguez
The last time we ran from Tucson to Phoenix, students from the Social Justice and Education Project of Tucson's Mexican American Studies Department determined to defend their besieged department by running in 115 degree heat. That run succeeded virtually at the time we arrived at the capitol.
However since then, HB 2281 has been passed by the state legislature and signed by the governor. It was also subjected to an independent audit -- which found in favor of MAS-TUSD. That did not stop the state superintendent from both ruling MAS-TUSD out of compliance with state law. After a kangaroo hearing which supported Huppenthal's position, rather than contest the farce, instead, TUSD complied and suspended the MAS Department.
This past week, two powerful events coincided in Arizona, to protest the suspension of MAS-TUSD, along with the banishment of the MAS-TUSD curriculum and the banning of the books and its teaching materials.
The Librotraficante caravan has brought both authors and banned books back to Arizona.
The other event was a run from Tucson to Phoenix. This time. This time, it might have gotten into the high 80s, but we ran 165 miles, not 120.
The superintendent was given a document that he most assuredly does not understand. He was given a document re the Doctrine of Discovery... the subject of this year's UN Permanent Forum on the rights of Indigenous Issues. (More on this in next few weeks). The point of the run was to serve notice to the state that the issue of the suspension of Mexican American Studies is beyond a local issue.
HB 2281 supposedly makes it illegal to teach in Arizona schools. However, in fact, it violates virtually every section of the 2007 UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, including 8 additional international human rights treaties.
The run this year began from The Aztlan Boxing gym with a teach-in about the Flecha de Tenamxtli, then proceeding (via a walk/caminata) to TUSD Headquarters.
|Streets of Tucson|
|Streets of Tucson|
|Mayra and Daniel|
The next day, 77 miles were covered, crossing the O'otham Nation. There, severall O'otham runners ran with us, winding up on Tonatierra ceremonial grounds.
|Arriving in Marana|
|Netta and Alex, Calpolli Teoxicalli|
|Jose with Flecha de Tenamaxtli|
|Running on soft earth|
|O'otham runners joining run|
|3rd day in desert|
|children leg of run|
|On the lookout|
|In Phoenix, last leg|
|Ceremonial staffs in front of Dept of Education|
|Site of Native American Caucus|